Origin and assessment of bruises in beef cattle at slaughter

A.C. Strappini, J.H.M. Metz, C.B. Gallo, B. Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of bruises, as detected on carcasses at the slaughterhouse, may provide useful information about the traumatic situations the animals endure during the pre-slaughter period. In this paper, we review scientific data on the prevalence, risk factors and estimation of the age of bruises in beef cattle. Risk factors such as animal characteristics, transport conditions, stocking density, livestock auction and handling of the animals are discussed. Investigation of the age of bruises could provide information on when in the meat chain bruises occur and, could help to pinpoint where preventive measures should be taken, from the stage of collecting the animals on the farm until slaughter. We review the methods available to assess the age of the bruises; data on human forensic research are also included. The feasibility to identify traumatic episodes during the pre-slaughter period, in order to improve animal welfare is discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-736
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • human skin wounds
  • meat quality
  • pre-slaughter
  • immunohistochemical detection
  • traumatic injuries
  • livestock behavior
  • northern australia
  • age-determination
  • transport stress
  • stocking density

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